Dollar bill could be ditched

Dollar coins could become the norm in America
Pants pockets could be getting a lot heavier from coast-to-coast if Congress approves a plan to ditch the dollar bill in favor of a coin currency.

Lawmakers in Washington introduced a legislation last week that would aim to tackle the massive American deficit by eliminating the paper bill featuring George Washington’s mug and replacing it with a metal coin that would last for ages longer.

Bill backer Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona says that once the transition from bill-to-coin is complete, the US could save “billions of dollars.”

The current dollar bill denomination only has a lifespan of 18 to 40 months. A coin could, however, stand the test of time for up to 30 years. First, though, the treasury would have to transition around $600 million worth of dollar coins to replace the paper bill, something that Schweikert says would take around four years.

“At a time when we are staring down a record-breaking $1.3 trillion deficit, any common-sense measure that cuts billions needs to be given serious consideration,” Rep. Schweikert said before the House of Representatives. Specifically, he said that his plan could save the federal government around $5.5 billion over the course of three decades.

Some lawmakers, however, say that the plan would only put America deeper in debt. “The $1 coin is misleading because it costs taxpayers so much more,” Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts responded. Along with fellow Mass resident and Democratic rep John Kerry, Brown has proposed a contradictory bill to keep the coin from coming to fruition.

That isn’t to say that Schweikert doesn’t have his supports, though. The Dollar Coin Alliance has formed in support of his legislation, and he has also received backing from Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who is also a member of Congress’ super committee pegged with tackling the debt dilemma.

Schweikert has dubbed his plan the Currency Optimization, Innovation and National Savings project, or COINS.